$35k Grant Available to Prepare for Investment Funding

Through the Callaghan Innovation Technology Incubator programme, WNT Ventures can access $35,000 of “Pre-Incubation Grant” funding to help companies driven by strong intellectual property, to prepare for investment funding.
More importantly, WNT provides strategic insights and guidance from our investment team and wider network to help develop a tailor-made commercial strategy for the early phase of commercialisation.

The WNT Pre-Incubation process is intended to prepare companies for a larger investment by one of WNT Ventures funds where we typically invest $1 million or more in the initial round.

Companies that may qualify for WNT’s support need to be:

  • NZ-based companies/technology
  • Pre-Revenue
  • Strong IP potential (“Deep Tech”)
  • Global opportunities

We do not require any equity from companies going through the Pre-Incubation process.
We do support technology which has not yet been patented or where a company has not yet been formed, as long as there is some form of protectable IP based on research, but the pre-incubation grant is not for companies only at idea stage which requires research funding to develop.
The WNT Pre-Incubation process is intended to prepare companies for a larger investment by one of WNT Ventures funds where we typically invest $1 million or more in the initial round.
See how to apply and T&C’s below or through a conversation with one of our investment team.

Funding Support to Prepare Building Blocks for IP Investment

The Pre-Incubation Grant is funded through our partnership with Callaghan and WNT can access up to $35,000 in grant without the need for the startup to engage with Callaghan for approval.
Having successfully supported NZ Deep Tech companies since 2014, WNT have identified key areas that typically need addressing in this Pre-Incubation phase:
• Intellectual Property assessment and strategy
• Market validation
• Market sizing, channels, and competition
• Economic fundamentals and financial modelling

Intellectual Property Assessment and Strategy

As an IP-driven entity, it is essential that the intellectual property strategy is developed as a part of the overall commercial strategy. Intellectual property is a company asset and should be managed appropriately, be it patents, trade secrets, know-how or trademarks, or better still, a combination of all of these.
During the Pre-Incubation phase, WNT provides funding support, guidance, and connections with the best IP advisers for your technology – by not restricting ourselves to any one adviser or firm, we give the company the best chance of developing a more customised strategy appropriate for your technology.
At this early stage, it may be as simple as understanding the patent landscape and getting a basic provisional patent filed while understanding what elements to disclose or to keep as trade secrets, or it may be more comprehensive for those at a later stage of IP strategy development.

Market Validation

We realised early on that market validation for deep tech companies has differences to the process for B2B SaaS companies; so much so that WNT developed our own Deep Tech Market Validation Workshop which we’ve been running for many of New Zealand’s University Tech Transfer Offices (TTO’s) and Crown Research Institutes since early 2019. The workshop will be available to private sector companies later this year.
Alongside our own guidance and support, WNT may bring in one of our international market validation experts where we can together develop a greater understanding of the global landscape for your technology. The work completed in this phase is typically funded by the Pre-Incubation Grant and may set you up for a deeper dive at a later stage, or potentially give you an insight that your market focus may need to change.

Market Sizing, Channels and Competition

In conjunction with the Market Validation process, your WNT team member will work alongside you to help develop a deeper understanding of your market drivers, the competitive landscape, and how you might access the market once you receive investment funding and have developed your product further. We may run a series of one-on-one sessions to work through this process, but the process will be tailored to suit your situation, stage, and experience.
WNT has a wide range of advisors and networks so we may reach out to experts in your field of a more commercial nature who can guide the relevance of your technology towards building your commercial strategy. If you have your commercial strategy well developed, we will help you take it to that next level.
Its important that we customise each Pre-Incubation process to the stage of the company and the experience of the founders to ensure you are getting the best outcomes for your company.

Economic Fundamentals, Business Model and Financial Modelling

One of the final key areas we see founders needing assistance is in the economics of their company. This is at times an area that is lest understood but, from a commercial standpoint, most critical.
Transforming a world class technology into a world-class company is a challenging concept. We often talk about the need to switch from building value in your technology to building value in your company as being one of the hardest aspects of deep tech start-ups.
Technology development needs to go hand in hand with commercialisation so understanding the business model of how a company earns revenue and the costs associated with doing so is important. This also informs the level of future funding required to build the company, which in turn feeds directly into financial returns, valuation, and how much dilution a founder might experience over the life of the company, assuming you keep raising capital from investors.
Even if you have developed models already, getting another fresh set of eyes to ensure you are developing your business with an evidenced based model (and an investor lens) can help with the inevitable confirmation basis we all succumb to at some stage.
We have on hand financial expertise, either from one of the WNT team or from a selection of one of our external finance specialists. This may be as simple as reviewing your existing financial model or help to develop one from scratch including capital raising pathways and business fundamentals.

How to apply and T&C’s

You can approach any one of our team members directly, via phone, email or the contact form on our website so they can make an early assessment of suitability. If we see the value that WNT can add to what you are doing and it fits our overall investment mandates, we may suggest that we put you through the Pre-Incubation programme.
We do not require equity at this stage but, as we are an investor, we seek some rights to invest in the initial round should you get there and we are happy to provide the details of these terms early on.
WNT do not have ownership of the work produced in the Pre-Incubation process - while we will have access to the outcomes they are all owned by the company.
If you think you might be a fit for our Pre-Incubation Programme, with a view to wanting to develop a longer-term relationship with WNT Ventures let us know through any of our team members.